South Korea army division to conduct exercises near DMZ

By Elizabeth Shim Contact the Author   |  Feb. 19, 2018 at 4:55 AM
share with facebook
share with twitter
Sign up for our weekly Korea Now newsletter
An exclusive report putting perspective on the week's most important developments.

Feb. 19 (UPI) -- South Korea's military is planning to conduct tactical training drills near the demilitarized zone on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The country's 25th infantry division, one of the three infantry divisions founded toward the end of the 1950-53 Korean War, will be engaging in the exercises near the border towns of Paju, Yangju, and Yeoncheon, Yonhap reported Monday.

For the purposes of the drills, which are taking place as the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics carries on in neighboring Gangwon Province, public roads including routes 37, 367 and 371 are being used to transport a large number of personnel and army equipment, according to the report.

A military official said troops will try to minimize inconveniences for local residents while meeting training goals.

"But we do expect disturbances" to affect communities, the official said.

The administration of South Korean President Moon Jae-in has called for military reforms, and at the center of planned changes is the army, local news service No Cut News reported Monday.

South Korea's "land-based" army accounts for 490,000 troops out of the total 620,000 personnel in South Korea's armed forces.

The plan could reduce the army's size by about 130,000 by 2022, according to the report.

A South Korean infantry division has about 10,000 soldiers, so the plan is to remove the equivalent of 13 infantry divisions.

The reductions are part of Seoul's response to changing paradigms of potential war.

Defense Minister Song Young-moo said he will continue to "establish a new concept for offensive war on the Korean peninsula."

Despite the ongoing détente with the North, Pyongyang has shown no signs of denuclearization and has claimed it has completed its acquisition of a nuclear weapons capability.

Related UPI Stories
Topics: Moon Jae
Trending Stories